The second time was the charm for a seafood chef from Seward, Alaska, who dazzled judges at the 2013 Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off with his sourdough-crusted sablefish entrée, accented with Yukon potatoes, rhubarb and smoked salmon jus.
Chef Kevin Lane of Chinooks Waterfront Restaurant in Seward took top honors May 8 in Anchorage, beating out five other chefs for the right to represent Alaska in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans in August.
Last year Lane placed second in the Alaska competition.
Working side by side with him as his assistant in the competition was Katherine LeMaster, owner of Chinooks Waterfront, which overlooks Resurrection Bay.
Their winning entry, judged on presentation, flavor and the overall experience the dish provides, was sourdough crusted sable with Yukon Gold potato puree, sea bean sauté, smoked salmon jus, rhubarb Aigre-Doux and basil coulis.
Some 400 guests, including a number of people in the seafood industry, attended the event at Anchorage International Airport, where they enjoyed a variety of gourmet seafood appetizers, beer and wine while the chefs competed.
Judges declared a tie for second place between Mandy Dixon of the La Baleine Café, within Wild Adventure Co., in Homer, and Robert Lewis of Maxine’s Fireweed Bistro, in Anchorage.
Also competing were Drew Johnson of the Kincaid Grill, Anchorage; Brett Knipmeyer of Kinley’s Restaurant and Bar, Anchorage; and Stuart Campbell of Icy Strait Point, Hoonah, Alaska.
Each chef, aided by an assistant, was given one hour to prepare and plate portions of a dish using fresh wild Alaska seafood for the judges.
Sponsors of the event included NOAA Fishwatch, the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Alaska Brewing Co., Alaska Grown, Bridge Catering, the Alaska Railroad Corp., and Alaska Air Cargo.
The event was hosted by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which was meeting in Anchorage that week. During its meeting Bristol Bay gillnetter Kevin Adams was elected chairman of the board. Mark Palmer, president and chief executive officer of Ocean Beauty Seafoods, will serve as vice chair. Their two-year terms will run through March 2015.